Disability: A Matter of Perception
26 April, 2012

As I was packing and getting ready to leave New York; I thought about how much a person living in the United States can achieve. No matter the race or ethnical background, you are equal and there is no discrimination towards you. To me, New York in particular, is a city for everyone. A musician finds it musical, an artist finds his muse, a businessman finds his way around, and in other words it’s a city with vast opportunities welcoming people

of all abilities. And then, I can’t’ help but think about the most oppressed people in Georgia. As if being bound to a wheelchair for their whole lives wasn’t enough, they have no other choice but to be bound to their homes and their family members.

I haven’t thought about this issue before, during the summers when I visited, but this time was different. When I moved to Georgia, what caught my attention were the sidewalk corners. As I walked around town with my son in his stroller, I noticed that the corners of the sidewalks had no slope. I wouldn’t have a problem getting up on the sidewalk, but what about the disabled? And then I started to look around for slopes in town…well, they’re hard to find! They either don’t exist or are inclined at such an absurd angle that crashing or rolling back is inevitable. Think about shopping. Now think about the movies that have no elevators. And then think about a regular stroll about town. “Easy” for us to say, but even getting out of their homes is probably a hassle since elevators are mostly located after a short flight down the stairs.
I don’t understand how this mistake can be made while planning a city. In the U.S and Europe it would be considered biased and a lawsuit for the store, caf?, theater or any other place with no inclined entrance or elevator would probably be inescapable. I was always irritated that the best parking spaces were reserved for the handicapped, but now I understand.  Think about how depressing it would be to sit at home all day and wait for someone to help you go outside. And once outside, there isn’t much you can do. You can’t go to the theater or the movies or cross the street without a little obstacle after each block.
In U.S, there is no disability. A person is a person no matter what. He has all the rights that any other person co-living in the city has, and most importantly he has the right to his independence. Buses have special seats that can be folded up to make space for a wheelchair, not to mention the stairs that flatten out in the rear door and turn into a lift. People with a disability are, in this sense, respected to make their troubled lives easier. Any auditorium, from a regular movie theater to a Broadway show, has special seating close to the exits. In other words, these people with misfortune live a regular civilian life. They have fun, go to school, work, meet friends and some even drive (with special appliances to help them with the pedals), with no big obstacle to make a reminder of their frailty.
To this day, most people don’t know that one of the most renowned and important president to the U.S, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was in fact a “cripple”. He suffered from polio in 1921, which took away his legs and partially his right arm. He could not get out of bed or get dressed without assistance. The word “cripple” was usually used by the opposing party to shatter him politically for the public, but obviously that always seemed to fail since FDR was elected four times as the President of the United States. However, he himself never talked about his disability and therefore most people never knew. The press respected him and his privacy so much so that no pictures were taken until he was seated in his wheelchair or until the much needed heavy braces on his leg were put onto help him stand. Nonetheless, he is known as one of the most influential political figures of the twentieth century.
I like this system, and I especially like the fact that people with disabilities can be independent and still follow their dreams. I used to think that there weren’t as many wheelchair-bound people in Georgia, but now it seems funny and much too sad that we just don’t see them because they have no place to go to forget their problems. Who knows, there can be a genius ready to finally cure cancer for good, sitting at home thinking about what to do with his life; or a wonderful artist hiding away somewhere, who couldn’t go to school because she was too ashamed of her wheelchair; or maybe even a very powerful and significant future president couldn’t get a descent education and, along with others like him, is sitting at home. I hope this discriminatory view towards the disabled changes soon enough and people begin to welcome them in our society.

Print
Other Stories
Georgian designers who participate in TBFW 2018
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2018 kicks off tomorrow, on the 1st of November and will last for 5 days, until the 5th of November.
Tusk of elephant Grand successfully removed in Tbilisi Zoo
Surgery of the elephant Grand in Tbilisi zoo was successful and is over now. Elephant can walk now but specialists still observe its condition.
International fashion exponents meet Georgian designers MBFW Tbilisi
If you’re interested in fashion then you should definitely add a new event to your agenda. Namely Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi that takes place from 1 to 5th of November.
Maryam d'Abo - James Bond Girl with Georgian roots
Giorgi Kvinitadze was a commander-in-chief of the Democratic Republic of Georgia.
Elephant to undergo surgery in Tbilisi Zoo
The elephant Grand is about to undergo the hardest surgery today on the 31st of October.
Best places to celebrate Halloween in Tbilisi
Halloween is celebrated on the 31st of October. It evolved from the Celtic holiday of Samhain which took place at the beginning of winter.
Bera Ivanishvili and Nanuka Gudavadze to get marry on the 11th of November
Son of the richest person in Georgia Bera Ivanishvili and the Georgian model Nanuka Gudavadze plan to get married on the 11th of November.
8-year-old girl killed in Gori - suspected murderer detained
The man suspected of killing the 8-year-old girl (with the initials I.N.) was detained today, on the 26 of October.
Audrey Hepburn with Georgian Emmy Award winner
Some photos keep whole stories. Especially one that are taken with famous people.
New clip by Bera Ivanishvili - Time machine
The richest man in Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili is very much involved in politics, but we cannot say the same about his children, especially about Bera.
Olivia Wilde and Lea Michele in David Koma dresses
Recently, InStyle has organized the fourth annual InStyle Awards.
Gregory Pekk and Marcello Mastroianni and their friendship with Georgians
Leila Abashidze was a famous Georgian actress. She was sometimes referred to as "Mary Pickford of the USSR".
Georgian singer Sofia Nizharadze’s sexy outlooks
Sofia Nizharadze is a Georgian singer. She represented Georgia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 with the song "Shine reaching the 9th place.
Beautiful Georgian Model Tamta Shedania tells her story
The model of Elite Model Look Georgia (an international modeling contest) Tamta Shedania worked with various Asian and European modeling agencies.
Ghanaian Eudosia Andoh – Everyday life in Tbilisi in photos
Eudosia Andoh has been living in Tbilisi for three and half years and has been travelling in different parts of Georgia.
Tbilisi Fashion Week SS 2019 ended
Tbilisi Fashion Week SS 2019 came to an end. The event has been widely reported in the international press such as Vogue, Marie Claire, ELLE, Harper's Bazaar, etc.
Tbilisi Fashion Week continues – What’s new?
Tbilisi Fashion Week continues. Foreign tourists, designers, models and special guests attend the event.
The first day of the Tbilisi Fashion Week SS 2019
Tbilisi Fashion Week SS 2019 has officially commenced.
Sophia Loren, Ornella Muti and their friendship with the Georgians
Georgia has numerous artists popular to the international public.
Tbilisi Fashion Week kicks off
Tbilisi Fashion Week is going to commence on the 18th of October. The slogan of the fashion week is “We Must Take Care of Nature”.
Georgian model Ana Akhvlediani becomes a mother
Georgian model Ana Akhvlediani became a mother. Ana Akhvlediani married to Giorgi Beraia in July, 2018. The couple has a daughter.
What do wives of the rich Georgians wear?
Famous Georgian faces pay great attention to look gorgeous when they appear in public or upload photos on social network.
Saddam Hussein’s Georgian Personal Advisor
A-83-year-old pilot Darwin Rukhadze from Georgia used to serve as a personal advisor of Saddam Hussein, the president of Iraq.
What makes Japan so similar to Georgia?
Japanese people know Georgia and the Georgians well enough thanks to the Georgian Sumo wrestler Levan Gorgadze, also known as Tochinoshin.
Top 5 most beautiful Georgian models
Georgian models take part in popular international catwalks, photo shoots, fashion weeks and shows. They are very successful in Georgia as well as worldwide.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
12.11.2018
13.11.2018
USD
1
USD
2.7146
2.7166
EUR
1
EUR
3.0800
3.0602
GBP
1
GBP
3.5325
3.4900
RUB
100
RUB
4.0430
4.0131
Other Stories
World famous British singer Jessie J has decided to wear clothes made by Anouki Areshidze, Georgian designer and wife of the mayor of Tbilisi.
Bassiani, one of the most popular underground clubs not only in Georgia but throughout Europe as well, has opened today
An amazing video made in Georgia by tourists from the Philippines have gone viral on the internet.
Over the recent two days May 12-13 Tbilisi city saw a peaceful protest rally in the center of the city.
Hundreds of people took to the main street Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi to protest the raid in Tbilisi’s popular night clubs.
Two bear cubs listed as endangered on the red list were handed over to Tbilisi Zoo,
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze and Deputy Tbilisi Mayor Ms. Sophio Khuntsaria have gifted a food stand
Pamela Anderson, famous Canadian American actress and model has appeared in the chic sunglasses by internationally acclaimed Georgian designer George Keburia.
A ski lift accident in Georgia’s eastern Gudauri resort,in particular at Sadzele 5 lift, has left 8 people with injuries.
The ski lift in Gudauri winter resort in Georgia has broke down in the aftermath of which several people have been injured.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.7166
EUR
1
EUR
3.0602
GBP
1
GBP
3.4900
RUB
100
RUB
4.0131
November 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30